EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Steven Jackson holds no animosity towards the St. Louis Rams.
His breakup with the Rams after a nine-year run was peaceful. That's a good thing, because now, in just his second game with the Atlanta Falcons, he faces his former team.
Jackson ranks first in Rams history in yards rushing, is second in rushing touchdowns and fifth in receptions. He was positive about his stay in St. Louis and has no extra motivation heading into the matchup.
"I mean, I would be lying if I said I didn't want to get the win," Jackson told ESPN. "Of course I want to get the win, but I have to come out there and just remain in the zone, in my focus and not get too up."
Jackson, who signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Falcons in March, said he isn't the emotional type anyway.
"When you allow emotions to take over, your wind becomes shorter, you are not even thinking, you're not on your A-game, so I have to remind myself to stay in control, have the intensity that I normally play with and dial in and treat this game as [any other] I have done over the years."
Jackson's eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons made him one of six backs in NFL history to hit that milestone. With nothing to prove, he considered retirement before choosing the Falcons.
"It was a real, legitimate option for me," he said. "It probably wouldn't have been fun now, this time of the year because I know I have a lot left in the tank, but I am one of those hard-headed guys. Once I believe in something, I stick to it."
Jackson said he keeps in touch with his former teammates, and they have had plenty to say this week.
"They have done a good job of just checking in on me periodically, making sure that things were going smooth for me and wishing me the best of luck on the season," Jackson said. "We have all mutually agreed that we are going to play each other hard on Sunday, but after that, you know, we are going to root each other on throughout the season."